Getting On Track with MindManager 2018 – updated

Update: since posting  the first version of this article I discovered that the MAP add-in Extended Properties feature which this approach relies on counts task days differently to MindManager. I’ve developed a workaround which is incorporated into this updated version.

I was prompted to write this article by a query on the Mindjet Community Forum about whether it was possible in MindManager to highlight which tasks in a project are “On Track” – in other words, those tasks in which the proportion of each task completed matches the time elapsed since the task began.

MM actually already has a very simple version of showing lagging tasks in the form of the at-risk and past-due indicators. The at-risk indicator is applied when a task duration is more than 75% elapsed but progress is less than 75%, while the past due indicator appears when the due date has lapsed but the task is incomplete.

Neither of these addresses the broader issue of showing tasks which are either lagging or ahead of schedule at other times – or indeed those tasks which are exactly on track. In my response to the query on the Mindjet forum I provided a brief example of how all this could be done using several new features in MM2018 and critically, a couple of functions in the MM MAP add-in.

In this post I’ll describe in more detail how this approach can be developed and how the resulting information can be displayed in a variety of ways. More broadly this example demonstrates the extent to which the powerful new features in MM2018 and the MAP add-in can be integrated to provide additional tools for information analysis and presentation. Continue reading

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Corel and MindManager 2018 – adding the new, transforming the old (part 2)

In this series I’m exploring some of the new features as well as a few improvements to older ones in the recently-released MindManager 2018. In the first part I looked at improvements to a recently-introduced feature, Map Roll-ups, as well as the revival of a feature which was last seen as an add-in for MM 2012 – Conditional Formatting. This time I’ll examine changes to MM’s filtering facility and the completely new Priority and Schedule Views.

Filtering and SmartFade

It’s a long time since there’s been any major change to the filtering facility in MM, so the introduction of SmartFade is a pleasant surprise.

However, I’m still getting used to how SmartFade works. In MM2018 there is a new Filter – Fade icon on the Status Bar and a similar Fade button on the Filter tab on in the View ribbon. These show only task-related filtering, like the “Show” button (more on that in a moment). Furthermore, use either of these options and you will most likely fade out the topics you are filtering for. This may be your aim but I suspect that most people want to do the opposite – to fade out all the topics other than the ones they are filtering for.

To do this consistently you have to delve into the MM Options dialogue box. Click on Filter and you will see there is a new option – “fade non-matching topics”. Tick the box and when you attempt to use SmartFade in future the unwanted topics should fade (rather than vice versa) and will always fade rather than disappear. Continue reading

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Corel and MindManager 2018 – adding the new, transforming the old (part 1)

While the specific impacts of Corel’s new leadership on the evolution of MindManager since it purchased the program in August 2016 are hard for an outsider to quantify, they seem to have been considerable. The process of change started with MM2017, which I described at the time as delivering “a number of unexpected but mostly pleasant surprises”. These included HTML5 export, Zapier integration, horizontal and vertical timelines, Gantt critical path and simplified file management.

It could have been argued at the time that many of these features were probably in the pipeline when Corel took over, but this was a harder claim to make in relation to the subsequent release of MM2017.1. Even though this was “just” a point release it contained so many new features that Corel could almost have justified calling it a full upgrade, especially on the strength of one addition alone: Map Roll-up. Continue reading

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“Mind map your way to a successful strategic planning day” series completed

The final part in my series on how organisations can use mind mapping to support their planning activities, Mind map your way to a successful strategic planning day, has just been posted on the Mindmapping Software blog.

Hypothetical organisation planning day map (source: author via Mind Mapping Software Blog)

I’d like to thank Chuck Frey for inviting me to write this series, in which I explain the advantages that mind mapping has over the traditional whiteboard as a tool for managing and recording strategic planning sessions, particularly for smaller and non-profit organisations. I also describe in detail some techniques to prepare for and then run a successful mind-mapped planning day. Continue reading

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MindManager 2017’s new features in action – 3: researching with reusable tags (part 2)

In the first part of this two-part series I discussed the use of MindManager as a research tool and specifically the benefits provided by the addition of reusable text tags in analysing interview and survey data. I also provided two approaches to copying text tags. In Part 2 I’ll outline some data entry techniques and research approaches. I’ll also examine some of the limitations involved in using tags and MindManager more broadly as a research tool.

Data entry options

I could write an entire post – indeed a series of posts – just on data entry, but I’ll try to condense my comments. Continue reading

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MindManager 2017’s new features in action – 3: researching with reusable tags (part 1)

One of the lesser-known features added in MindManager (MM) 2017 is the ability to reuse the same tags in different tag groups. As the MM 2017 help file notes:

Earlier versions of MindManager limited tags to be unique across all of a map’s tag groups. For instance, it was impossible to include the tag “High” in multiple tag groups. In MindManager 2017, it’s now possible to add the same tag name in multiple tag groups. For example, you can use tags like “Low,” “Medium” and “High,” across Tag Groups like Opportunity, Risk, Reward, or Strategic Fit, to categorize your topics.

This might seem like a minor enhancement but it has significant benefits for people like me who use MM for research purposes. I often undertake case studies focussing on the operations of range of organisations. These studies involve interviews, structured discussions or surveys with a range of key staff and external stakeholders and so usually result in a mix of quantitative and qualitative data across a range of issues.

In the first part of this series I’ll look at how I use MM for research and in particular how I apply tags. I’ll also describe the benefits of reusable tags and provide some advice on how to copy tag sets. Although I’m concentrating on MM in research practice, these techniques may be helpful in other areas, especially if you are interested in making major use of tags. Continue reading

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Check out the Mindmapping software blog for my series on mind mapping and strategic planning

With the kind cooperation of Chuck Frey I have started a series of articles titled Mind map your way to a successful strategic planning day on the Mindmapping Software blog.

These posts commence by explaining the advantages that mind mapping has over the traditional whiteboard as a tool for managing and recording strategic planning sessions, particularly for smaller and non-profit organisations. In the later articles I will describe in detail how to prepare for and then run a mind-mapped planning day. While I am obviously drawing on my experience with MindManager these techniques can be applied with any reasonably well-featured mind mapping program.

The first article is Strategic Planning – Stuck in the Whiteboard Time Warp while the second in the series, 7 key advantages mind mapping can bring to your planning session, has just been published. Part 3 is due to appear shortly and parts 4 and 5 should be published within the next few weeks.

 

 

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